The Benefits of Pilates
Shoulders, Hips and Spine.
Increases Muscle Strength and Tone
The specific target is your abdominal muscles, lumbar spine (lower back), hip flexors, pelvic floor muscles, and buttocks (glute muscles).
Improves Poor Posture
Stabilisation of your spine and proper scapula placement and relaxation of your shoulders, neck and upper back.
Joints, knees, ankles, hips and spinal injuries.
Increases Lung Capacity
Deep breathing for more oxygen and better body fluid circulation.
Improves the following:
Concentration, Body Awareness, Body Balance, Coordination and Stress management, etc.
Athletes and Sport Professionals
Pilates gives athletes an edge mentally and physically. It extends their range of motion, speeds up their recovery time, reduces injuries, promotes proper breathing techniques, and develops a mind-body connection essential for better performance. Short hamstrings are a common side-effect of sports that involve short intervals of explosive power and speed, such as football, rugby and sprinting. Shortened, stiff muscles and tight hip flexors will have a negative impact on your speed.
Strength training for weight lifters is essential to increase muscle growth. However, to increase our lifting capacity and prevent injury, it needs to be balanced out by lengthening exercises. We don’t mean simply “stretching” exercises. Reformer Pilates allows you to strengthen while lengthening your muscles, thus keeping your flexibility in top condition.
Golfers understand the flexibility of the upper body and the spine’s sudden rotation under force. Therefore a stiff mid-back can subject the lower back to overwork during the swing motion and thus increase unwanted pressure on the spine. Working the spine through articulation exercises will protect the athlete from spine injuries.
Pilates is unique because it moves the body in all three planes of motion. Sagittal plane, forward & backward movement, Frontal plane, side-to-side movements and Transverse plane, top and bottom halves movements. It strengthens underused muscles.
More and more elite athletes are adding Pilates to their fitness repertoire to optimise their performance. Cristiano Ronaldo and Serena Williams are successful athletes who believe that the Pilates method keeps them injury-free and on top of their game.
Those who sit behind their office desk, in front of a computer for 8 hours a day. Then commute home on a bus, train or motor vehicle, seated again for an hour or two.
Our posture as we do our daily office work is under attack. Our shoulders drop forward as our thoracic spine gets tired and bulge into a hunchback position. Our neck is stiff from pulling forward away from the Atlas bone. Our Sternum is collapsed backwards towards the spine, so our breathing is shallow and deprives our body of oxygen, which is vital for our brain and body function to work optimally. Our hip flexors are tightening up as we are in a seated position for too long, and our lumbar spine (lower back) pays the price for tight leg muscles, weak back extensors, glute and abdominal muscles that have fallen asleep behind our office desk.
Pilates is gaining momentum as one of the most popular forms of total-body fitness. People diagnosed with multiple sclerosis is good candidates for Pilates. It will help them maintain their flexibility, coordination, strength, and stamina.
The Elderly & The Injured
Our bodily functions slow down and adapt to our new circumstances as we step into our retirement stage. Old age can cause the muscles in the back to stiffen, throwing off coordination and precision. We lose muscle mass, bone density, strength, balance and mobility. Low impact exercises and resistance training is ideal for the older folk. Movements are controlled and mindfully executed, keeping the brain cells engaged.
Increasingly sedentary lives mean that bodies everywhere are becoming stiffer, weaker, and imbalanced. It leaves the weekend playing sports, doing the park run or your local cycling race at the end of a desk-bound week at risk of injury. Pilates can help undo the damage of days spent hunched over your office desk and keep you mobile enough to play the sports you love and perform well.
Other trouble spots for the elderly and athletes are their joint areas, such as wrists, elbows, ankles and knees. Pilates equipment is excellent to help clients rehab their knees or hips after medical replacements. Proper Pilates exercises can address any other injuries you picked up along your journey. Participating in sports like bowling or tennis, where most of the work is done with one arm, you can put yourself at risk of injury. Taking part in unilateral activities in a Reformer Pilates class, you can loosen the muscles in your dominant arm while strengthening the muscles in your non-dominant arm.